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Arguably the most exciting transfer saga of the summer was the one involving Eden Hazard. In the end, Hazard told the world via social networking site Twitter that he had chosen to join the European champions, Chelsea. So now, three months into the season, it is time to evaluate the Belgian’s start to life at Stamford Bridge.
In his Premier League debut away at Wigan, Hazard excelled. Seeing plenty of the ball, and looking in great form, Hazard was a constant threat and found himself being fouled regularly by the Wigan’s defence who appeared to be unsure of how to defend against Chelsea’s new signing. The game ended in a 2-0 win for Chelsea and many of the headlines went to Hazard.
Hazard’s next two games both also proved to be positive ones for both Chelsea and the club’s new star. Against Reading and Newcastle respectively, Hazard dazzled again and even managed to score his first goal for his new club via a penalty against Newcastle. Chelsea won both games, 4-2 against Reading, and 2-0 against Newcastle.
Hazard was nowhere near as effective in his next two games however as Chelsea drew against both QPR and Juventus. The trip to Loftus Road must have been extremely frustrating for Hazard as he struggled to find space in the highly compact pitch at Loftus Road while against Juventus, the ‘’Old Lady’’ produced some excellent defending.
However, against Arsenal, Hazard displayed some of the form that led to Chelsea paying Lille a reported £32 million for him. Playing alongside Juan Mata and Oscar in an attacking midfield three, Arsenal’s defence struggled to contain Hazard as the Belgian helped Chelsea to an important 2-1 win.
Hazard took his Chelsea goalscoring tally to two after a classy finish in a comprehensive 4-1 win over Norwich with Oscar and Mata accompanying him in the midfield three once again.
Although Hazard has adapted to the Premier League better than many other players from central Europe have in recent years, as mentioned earlier, it hasn’t been entirely plain sailing for the Belgian. At times he has lacked ideas as shown against QPR and during parts of the game against Stoke.
However, generally speaking Hazard has coped with the pressure bought on by the transfer fee excellently. Hazard has looked almost permanently confident and difficult for the opposition to deal with. At times, his play on and off the ball have been superb while his deliveries have been second-to-none.
Fernando Torres is scoring more regularly too, with the Spaniard having scored 6 in 12 so far this season.
I have every confidence that we have not yet seen the best of Hazard , but if this attacking midfield three of Hazard, Oscar and Mata continues to improve it could very well lead to Premier League and even Champions League glory for Chelsea at the end of this season.
Hazard’s start with Chelsea: 8/10
Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow him on Twitter @chelsealad1365
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